MOON DUSTING GLOBAL WARMING
WHY IN NEWS ?
- Recently a paper published in the journal PLoS Climate on February 8, regarding how spewing sulphates and other aerosols into the stratosphere leads to cooling there.
HOW MOONDUSTING CAN SLOW DOWN GLOBAL WARMING ?
- The eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1816 inspired the novels Frankenstein and The Vampyre vis-à-vis summerless year.
- S Researchers. have proposed that billions of tonnes of dust can be launched from the moon to a point in space where the earth’s and the Sun’s gravitational fields cancel each other out.
- The dust will thus be ‘parked’ there, casting a shadow on earth and dimming sunlight to offset carbon emissions.
- As aerosols in the stratosphere, especially radiation-scattering ones such as sulphates, do have a cooling effect.
NEGATIVES OF THE TECHNOLOGY
- The natural dusting caused due to 1816 eruption and its devastating consequences.
- The ‘cool’ summer sent crop yields plummeting worldwide.
- It also caused leading to several disease and starvation across the globe.
- Many climate models have confirmed that dimming the amount of incoming sunlight with stratospheric aerosols will have similar outcomes.
MORE ABOUT THE NEWS
- Some studies have argued that the resulting drought won’t be as harmful.
- The GDPs of most countries will be positively affected by such solar radiation management (SRM).
- But even state-of-the-art climate models are skilled only at simulating the temperature response to changes in solar radiation.
- These projections are also best at the continental scale and not at the regional scale, which matters when it comes to heatwaves and drought.
CONCERNS REGARDING SOLAR RADIATION MANAGEMENT
- As climate models are still woefully inadequate at estimating the precipitation response to solar radiation perturbations at all scales.
- Any projections related to changes in rainfall, as a result of blocking sunlight, will be highly uncertain.
- Therefore, concluding that SRM won’t have unintended consequences in the form of drought and crop losses would be foolhardy.
- As there is a global level deployment of this management, which in turn creates several concerns about SRM science and governance.
- As, Who will decide when and where to deploy aerosols, and how much?
- Who will monitor unintended consequences?
- If one country conducts an experiment that affects rainfall in another country, who will bear liability?
- Compensation for the accidental outcomes of SRM will be more contentious.
HOW TO MOVE AHEAD ?
- The University of Oxford and the Asilomar Conference have proposed some guiding principles for attempts to geoengineer the climate.
- Those countries involved must clearly and explicitly report the science and technology of these approaches.
- Their consequences; deployment and monitoring, verification, and reporting mechanisms should be democratic and inclusive.
- All stakeholders must agree on compensation mechanisms for any harm beforehand.
- Lastly, a major caveat of the aerosol-loading approach is that there will be a rebound effect once spraying stops and the aerosols are washed out of the atmosphere.
- So, when the temporary cooling effect is on, we must still reduce emissions.
- Otherwise the cooling effect will end and the heating period will reinstate itself.
SOURCE : THE HINDU
Syllabus : MAINS, GS3 ENVIRONMENT